To install drywall, you will need a number of tools, and likely more than one cutting implement.
Drywall saws, or jab saws, are essential for cutting out openings and complex shapes in your drywall to allow electrical outlets, large holes for smoke detectors and around electrical boxes.
A hole saw can handle smaller holes with ease, but for something larger, you’ll want a manual, fine-toothed drywall saw.
Precision is the name of the game with a jab saw – power tools are tricky to master and leave no room for error.
With a jab saw you can control the shape of the hole you’re cutting and make gentle corrections as you go.
When looking for a quality jab saw, you’ll want to take into consideration the blade length, durability, the grip, how many cutting surfaces the blade has, and the quality of the metal.
The WilFiks Razor Sharp 6.5” Pro Jab Saw gets the number one spot because it is an extremely high-quality drywall cutting tool at a great value.
Not only does it perform well for drywall cutting purposes, but you can use it around your home, garden, and a variety of DIY projects.
Users like its price point, performance, and the power you can apply with the rigid, ultra-sharp edges.
This tool cuts drywall with ease and you can use it to trim branches, cut wood, wallboard, or plastic pipes.
For great results and versatility, this is the product.
If you have a more specific need, or you like something that’s more portable, there are other, more refined options.
Here are some great products for any kind of drywaller and any kind of drywall project.
What Makes a Good Drywall Saw?
Drywall saws are simple tools. They are usually 7-12 inches long, with a double edge design, serrated blade, and extra-sharp jab point. The handles can be wood or plastic and rubber. Also called a jab saw – they’re meant for exactly that: you jab them into the drywall to carve out boxes, holes, and shapes for light fixtures, electrical outlets, smoke detectors, etc.
A good drywall saw is an important tool. While you can use other electric saws – circular saws, drywall hole saws, jigsaws, rotary saws even Dremel tools – some tasks you are better off with a quality, manual jab saw. Consider the project, and choose the appropriate saw for the job.
The handle. The handle must be lightweight and ergonomic. Wooden handles are harder to grip than plastic rubberized ones, meaning your hand will tire quickly. For big projects, or if you’re spending all day drywalling – you’ll want to make sure your jab saw has an easy-to-hold, appropriately sized handle.
The length of the blade. Blades range in length from 6 -10 inches, but a standard drywall jab knife blade is 6 inches. You want a shorter blade for most jobs. It’s easier to control and the blade is less likely to bend. It makes cutting precise and small holes and openings much easier. You would choose a longer blade if you were planning on cutting long pieces of drywall, or you had to cut multiple pieces at once.
The tooth grind. The tooth grind is how many cutting surfaces the sawtooth has. Most drywall saws have two or three. The more cutting surfaces, the easier the saw will cut through drywall. They will be labeled as ‘double ground’ or ‘triple ground’. The saws you find on this list are all triple-ground for the easiest and quickest cut.
A contractor or drywaller will likely have several different saws for a variety of purposes. If you’re choosing just one saw, here a few of the all-around best drywall saws on the market right now.
The Best Reviewed Drywall Saws
STANLEY FATMAX Hand Saw
- SharpTooth Saw Technology of the hand saw uses three cutting surfaces to cut 50% faster than conventional STANLEY Hand Saws
- Comfortable, slip-resistant, bi-material handle of the handsaw is designed for strength and durability
- Sharpened tip punches through drywall with ease
This Stanley jab saw gets great user reviews for being sharp, having strong performance, being easy to hold, and having a great warranty. The Stanley Fatmax has a relatively short blade, making it great for most small cutouts, and the induction-hardened blade stays sharp five times longer than traditional stainless steel blades.
The blade is 15 percent thicker than a regular saw blade and it’s triple ground, with rugged blade construction featuring Stanley’s Sharptooth technology. The Fatmax cuts on the push and pull stroke, so you’re actually cutting twice as fast as a traditional saw. More strokes per minute means a faster-finished product. The Fatmax has a dedicated following of people raving about this tool and many positive reviews online.
For users who really need to bear down on a saw, this one is a great option. It’s a great value for a saw – coming in on the low end of this list. Careful though, this jab saw will rust, and does not come with a sheath.
- 6-inch jab
- induction-hardened teeth
- sharpened tip
- ergonomic handle
- 8 teeth per inch
- triple-ground teeth
- limited lifetime warranty
WilFiks Razor Sharp 6.5” Pro Jab Saw
- ► EASY TO USE: Our pro hand saw is designed for precise cutting including dovetails, miters, and tenons. The saw cuts through materials like wood, plastic pipe, plywood, wallboard and drywall. Ideal for your home and for framers, general contractors and woodworkers.
- ► DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Induction-hardened teeth that stay sharp up to five times longer than standard teeth and produces smooth, sharp, and quick cuts. Extra secured blade to handle assembly for safety. The Saw has a sharpened tip that punches through drywall or other similar materials with ease.
- ► ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Anti-Slip Super Grip handle resists slipping and adds comfort, The handle size will work with any hand size from small to extra-large and is designed to help lessen fatigue when cutting. Unique handle design allows for superior cutting angle.
This Jab Saw gets top marks. It’s priced very reasonably and cuts through just about anything. This triple ground, ultra-sharp blade makes for quick, easy cutting. A 6.5-inch straight blade design is still short enough for precise handling while maintaining great performance, and the light, rubberized handle makes it easy-to-use all day.
The WilFiks jab saw is from a less recognizable brand and is mid-range priced. The teeth are relatively wide compared to other saws on this list, so it is less precise, but the jobs it can handle are broader. It has an excellent non-slip grip and is light-weight enough to use all day.
Use it for tree branches, PVC pipes, wood – anything you need a quick cut. The big downside of this saw it a lack of sheath, so users will either have to give it a special place on a shelf or make your own rubber sheath to carry it around in your tool kit.
- 5-inch blade
- 2 oz
- induction-hardened teeth
- triple-ground teeth
- excellent grip
Klein Tools 31737 Drywall Saw
- Folding saw with durable carbon steel blade is as sturdy as fixed blade jab saws
- Hand saw has faster cutting blade with triple ground teeth and ability to cut in both directions
- Lockback mechanism secures the blade open at 125-degree and fully open at 180-degree
If you’re looking for something convenient, versatile, and won’t rip up your tool bag, this might be the jab saw for you. This Klein model’s most notable features include a folding blade and rust-resistant carbon steel. It doesn’t need a home-made sheath, you can carry it hiking, and sling it onto a bag with the convenient hole on the handle.
The blade is on the shorter side, but sturdy. The end is cushioned, which is nice because you’ll likely be applying sudden blunt force when jabbing the blade into drywall. This is the drywall saw to get if you don’t want a single-use tool cluttering up your workshop.
This jab saw made the list because, unlike many foldable jab saws, the blade is very rigid and doesn’t wobble badly when you’re using it. It is also extremely reasonably priced. Other foldable models are around twice as expensive as their fixed counterparts.
Some users found the snap-close precarious, so you should use caution when closing the blade so you don’t catch your fingers between it. Carbon steel makes it easy to take care of though, and great to carry around in your bag because it won’t rust. The teeth are rather wide, so your cut won’t be as precise as with other jab saws. A good all-around option if you want something you can take over to other applications and travels easily.
- 2-inch blade
- lanyard hole
- carbon steel blade
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
Great Neck 74030 6 Inch Double-Edged Jab Saw
This Great Neck saw is easily the best at its price point. It’s compact, with a 6-inch blade, and sturdy, easy to hold and the blade resists rusting with nickel plating.
The double-edged blade is good for anyone cutting through old, tough drywall, or who needs to change direction easily. Maybe not as precise as other fine-toothed saws, this jab saw is great for minor drywall projects, widening cracks to fill and cutting out damaged drywall for repair and various applications you might have during handyman projects.
The rubber handle has a comfortable grip so you won’t get calluses from sawing all day. If you’re used to a regular, single-edged blade, this could take some getting used to, i.e. you won’t be able to start right at the apex of a corner. However, the super-sharp tip pierces drywall panels easily, and the sturdy blade lets you go to work aggressively.
If you need a ‘just in case’ jab saw, this is a great, inexpensive option. It’s designed to be easy for users to hold no matter the direction you’re sawing. You won’t want to carry it around with you everywhere because it doesn’t have any blade protection when it’s not in use.
- double-edged blade
- 6-inch blade
- 2 oz
- triple-ground tooth
- nickel-plated blade
- induction heated blade
- hang hole
- anti-slip handle
- limited lifetime warranty
DEWALT Jab Saw
- Aggressive Tooth Design of the hand saw cuts up to 50% faster than traditional tooth designs
- The handsaw has multiple material usage for use on drywall, plastic and other building materials
- Induction-hardened teeth stay sharp for long life
Premium tools come at a premium price. However, jab saws are so inexpensive, to begin with, that spending a few extra dollars may well be worth it. You can’t change blades with a drywall jab saw, so once your tool gets dull, it’s done.
This jab saw stays sharp for a long time, so you will end up getting your money’s worth. This classic Dewalt product doesn’t look like anything fancy, but unsurprisingly, this brings the kind of quality you expect from the company.
Users love the solid and non-slip grip and lightweight body. You can use this saw all day with minimal fatigue. The induction-hardened teeth stay sharp five times longer than traditional blades, and the triple-ground teeth make cutting quick and easy.
The DEWALT delivers a finer, more precise cut than most other jab saws on the market. It’s sturdy enough to use for other applications in your garden or various other DIY projects. To get the most from this jab saw, you will need to take care of it.
This Dewalt model will rust if left around wet or moist environments, and no folding feature or sheath means you won’t be able to just throw it in your tool bag. Dewalt does make other folding models, and if that’s important to you, you can get the same Dewalt quality with a more portable saw.
However, this makes the list because as a basic jab saw, it’s one of the best you can get.
- 6-inch blade
- 8 oz
- triple ground tooth
- ergonomic rubber grip
- induction hardened teeth
- limited lifetime warranty
When you’re choosing drywall products, you need to consider exactly what drywall cutting projects you’ll need them for. Drywalling isn’t so cut and dry – you might be remodeling, removing old drywall, hanging fresh drywall, or maybe you’re just doing drywall repairs.
Not everyone needs a full arsenal of contractor-level dedicated tools. Sometimes the right choice is something that works well enough for drywall panels but can be used in other projects and quick to-do list repairs. Consider what you’re using the jab saw for, and choose accordingly.
How much drywall you’re cutting. Needless to say, if you’re picking out a saw that you’ll only use once or twice, might as well find a budget tool, or at the very least something multi-functional and easy storage, like a folding jab saw or one of the less expensive models.
Sometimes you can accomplish all your drywall cutting with just a straight razor. A jab saw is designed to piece the drywall and take out fairly large chunks around installation sites. If you have to shear off large, straight chunks of sheetrock, you might be better off investing in a power tool like a Dremel tool, rotary tool, or electric saw.
How precise you need to be. If you’re cutting fine holes or shaping drywall precisely, you’ll want a saw with a more extreme taper and finer teeth. What you’ll end up giving up is a little rigidity – they will be finer blades that bend more easily, and you won’t be able to power through a lot of drywall like a tool with a thicker blade.
How often you’ll use it. Look, if you need to cut a single hole, getting a jab saw that will work on a wide range of projects is a good idea. Something that folds is a great option – you can easily take it camping, hiking, or keep it in the car.
The trade-off with a folding model is that it’s likely to be more flexible than a fixed blade, and more expensive. Foldable models get around twice the price of a standard jab saw and the blade is inevitable less sturdy.
How much you want to spend. Jab saws are not super expensive tools, with a relatively narrow price range. If you want a high-end tool, you will be spending 10-15 dollars more.
That doesn’t seem like a lot, but any handy-person knows – an extra fifteen dollars per single-use tool you buy adds up quickly. if you’re all in on your drywalling endeavors, opt for the more expensive model: they will be easier to use, stand up to more wear and tear, and you won’t have to replace it for a long time. If you’re on a budget, an alternative drywall cutter – like a straight razor, might be enough to get by.
Can You Cut a Circular Hole With a Jab Saw?
There are saws designed for cutting very small holes, but for anything wider than about three inches in diameter, you’ll want to use a jab saw. Cutting with a circle-cutter or electric drywall tool is a skill that takes practice to master.
If you’re cutting a lot of circles, by all means, get a dedicated tool, but for just a few, you want the control a jab saw offers. Jab saws have the benefit of having a sharp point as well as a blade for sawing, so you do not have to drill a pilot hole.
Do They Make Power Jab Saws or Electric Jab Saws?
The closest thing to an ‘electric jab saw is something like a rotary tool or a spiral saw. These electric cutting tools will make quick, straight cuts in your drywall panels, but there are some reasons you need a manual jab saw.
A spiral saw cuts quickly, so you absolutely have to know what you’re doing, because you cannot adjust quickly. you cut what you cut. It’s also a bulky, loud, and heavy piece of equipment – it’s really only a substitute for a jab saw if you can do all of your cuts or very big cuts all at once. A rotary tool is smaller, but you will have to buy the drywall cutting bits and extra blades separately.
You don’t want to carry a bulky power tool around your job site, and certainly not to do quick repairs and cuts. It’s also a very dedicated tool, unlike a jab saw which you can use around your home for a variety of repairs and quick cutting tasks.
Do you NEED a Jab Saw?
You could conceivably do your entire drywall project without a jab saw. There are other options – like a spiral saw, or a straight razor that would make cuts and carve holes out of drywall.
A jab saw is not the most specialized drywalling tool – you can saw through plenty of materials with it, but it’s particularly useful around outlets and spaces for lights.
Even if you use it a couple of times, the ten bucks you spend will probably be worth it.
Can You Use a Jab Saw to Cut Outlets?
Yes. One of the main functions of the jab saw is to carve out installation holes in fresh drywall panels. You can also make holes for electrical boxes, smoke detectors, recessed lighting, and vents.
Do Professionals Use Jab Saws?
A professional drywaller or contractor would consider a jab saw a must-have tool. Drywall jab saws are good for digging out old drywall for inspection and taking holes out of drywall panels so you can see what’s behind it.
Jab saws are easy to carry around during inspections. Good for a professional, and a handy tool to have around your shop or home.
What If My Jab Saw Isn’t Cutting Cleanly?
If your jab saw is creating really jagged edges, or just not piercing through the sheetrock, it’s time to upgrade to a better model or get a new saw because it’s dull. Jab knives shouldn’t take too much of a bump to slice into drywall, and if you’re hammering on it, you need a sharper point.
Can I Sharpen My Jab Saw?
You should not attempt to sharpen a jab saw. Once your jab saw gets dull, you will just have to get a new one.
Like any saw, there are ways you can file the teeth, but if it’s coated you’ll just wear the protection off the blade and the amount of time it takes to file those teeth is just not going to be worth it. The good news is, the triple-ground and induction-treated blades should last you through many sheets.
Should I Use a Jab Saw From the Front or Back?
Whenever possible, start your cuts from the front going through to the back of the drywall panels. This reduces tearing when the tip punctures the drywall.
When cutting out outlet boxes, try angling the blade slightly inward, so that it fits securely over the box when installed and you have a little wiggle room when trimming.
What Else Can I Cut With A Jab Saw?
It’s easy to come to terms with investing in a jab saw because it’s a multi-purpose tool. You can use a jab saw for just about anything you’d use a hack saw for – rough lumber cuts, timing trees, and branches, cutting plastic pipe.
Get a folding version and take it with you camping. Throw it in your car when you’re not using it.